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11 May 2023

Why we love Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR

Why we love Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR

Transcript

Six speakers: Martin Hughes (MH); Tommy Junor (TJ); two visitors (V1 and V2); Aidan Bell (AB); Lindsay Macandrew (LM)




MH – Hello there, my name is Martin Hughes.
I’m the Operations Manager for the National Trust for Scotland and today I am at Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve.
The gorge was donated to the National Trust for Scotland just after the war in 1945.
It was granted National Nature Reserve status in 1967.
It's also a SSSI site, so the significance of the gorge here is for its flora and fauna.
Believe it or not, at the bottom of the gorge the air temperature can be 1-2 degrees warmer than it is actually where we're standing today.
So, it creates its own wee microclimate down there, which just makes the gorge such a special place.
The great news is visitation in Scotland since 2015 in the Highlands has gone through the roof, which is magic.
We've got many more visitors coming to the area, but that’s also brought its own challenges. As more guests have come to the area, the lack of infrastructure in the west coast of Scotland at times hasn't caught up pace.
So, with increasing visitation numbers, the great news is the National Trust for Scotland has put in a new Gateway to Nature facility, which provides much-needed toilets for the area, a motorhome waste disposal area, potable and non-potable water, electric charge points and an outdoor takeaway experience café.



















TJ – My name is Tommy and I'm the Visitor Services Manager here at Corrieshalloch Gorge.
I'm proud to be working here with the National Trust for Scotland.
The new Gateway to Nature has had rave reviews so far from a mixture of locals as well as some of our international tourists that are already on the trail, whether that’s the North Coast 500 or they're just visiting the Highlands.
So, it's really exciting. We’ve got a brand new team here as well.
We have a number of new water features linking the new visitor centre down to the Victorian pathways and down to the gorge itself.
These new features have all been given Gaelic names.
The cool thing with Gaelic is that it's a really descriptive language.
For example, here we have Na Leacan, which is ‘the slabs’.
When you look at the geologic features here, the rock does look like big slabs placed on top of the river.
We have three other Gaelic-named water features as you head down our new path.
They are called An t-Eas Stapach, which are 'the stepped falls'.
We have An t-Eas Creagach, which is 'the rocky falls'.
And we also have An t-Sruthan, which is 'the streamlet'.
I love Corrieshalloch Gorge.
It’s Scotland's smallest nature reserve, which I think makes it really special, makes it a really exciting and unique opportunity.
To be here every day, to call this place my work -- I feel privileged and really lucky, and that’s why I love it.






















V1 – We've just enjoyed seeing this beautiful gorge this morning.
The greenery is unbelievably lush this early in the spring, and the gorge is spectacular and dramatic.
We've just had a great time visiting here.





V2 – The facilities are wonderful; they’re brand new.
The trails are firm and wide; it's very safe here.
It's a gorgeous day to walk in the gorge.




AB – My name's Aidan Bell.
I’m the Estate Supervisor for Inverewe Estate and Corrieshalloch Gorge.
Today we're at Corrieshalloch, enjoying the spring sunshine.
The two things that really surprise our visitors are 1) that the bridge moves slightly, because it’s a suspension bridge and that’s what it’s designed to do, but secondly is the sudden plunging view down into the abyss, which is one of the most spectacular box canyons in Britain.
It's just nestled away, waiting to be discovered really.
That experience of standing on the bridge is very much being immersed in the raw power of nature, but from the edge of safety.
And that for me really sums up the experience of Corrieshalloch, because there you are standing on this gently swaying bridge, peering into the abyss.












LM – I'm Lindsay.
I'm the Visitor Services Assistant at Corrieshalloch for the National Trust for Scotland.
We get all sorts of people here, from Costa Rica, Tasmania, far-flung countries of the world -- everybody loves it here; it's beautiful.
I love everything about it. It's very different from where I come from, which is Edinburgh.
I love the Highlands; I always have. It's a glimpse into what the Highlands is to me.
It's perfect for small children; it's perfect for families.
It brings back memories for all sorts of people. It is beautiful here.








MH – I just love Corrieshalloch because, no matter where you've come from to get to Corrie, you'll have driven north, south, east or west through rugged mountain Scottish landscape and then all of a sudden you're transported into basically a rainforest with a massive waterfall!
It just feels like it shouldn't be here, so you almost feel like you've discovered it out of nowhere.
I think for many of our guests, and for myself, it’s that feeling of discovery you get when you find Corrieshalloch.

A lush green oasis in the midst of a rugged mountain landscape, Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR is a very special place.

Experience the awe-inspiring forces of nature from the Victorian suspension bridge that spans one of the most spectacular natural gorges in the country.

The newly opened Gateway to Nature Centre now offers a range of visitor facilities, including a takeaway café, toilets, parking and electric vehicle charging points, as well as new paths to help people discover the landscape.

Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR can be enjoyed all year round, in any weather.

Plan your visit today


The £3.1 million project to build Gateway to Nature facilities at Corrieshalloch Gorge has been made possible by £1,297,071 funding from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, which is led by NatureScot and part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund will encourage people to visit some of the more remote and rural areas and create and sustain jobs, businesses and services in local communities.
The purpose of the fund is to promote and develop the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands in a way that conserves and protects them.


In addition, work on the paths and interpretation on site has been supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery through the Love Our Nature project.

The remainder of the investment for the work at Corrieshalloch is due to the ongoing generous support and commitment of the National Trust for Scotland’s members and other supporters.

Please note that permission for drone flying was granted by the National Trust for Scotland. Please contact filming@nts.org.uk for recreational and commercial drone filming enquiries.

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